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object:1.1.1.08 - Self-criticism
book class:Letters On Poetry And Art
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
media class:chapter

1 May 1934

It is no use being disgusted because there is a best you have not reached yet; every poet should have that feeling of a miraculous poetic creation existing on a plane he has not reached, but he should not despair of reaching it, but rather he has to regard present achievement not as something final but as steps towards what he hopes one day to write. That is the true artistic temper.

1 May 1934
***
6 Oct 1936

It is precisely the people who are careful, self-critical, anxious for perfection who have interrupted visits from the Muse. Those who dont mind what they write, trusting to their genius, vigour or fluency to carry it off are usually the abundant writers. There are exceptions, of course. The poetic part caught in the mere mind is an admirable explanation of the phenomenon of interruption. Fluent poets are those who either do not mind if they do not always write their very best or whose minds are sufficiently poetic to make even their not best verse pass muster or make a reasonably good show. Sometimes you write things that are good enough, but not your best, but both your insistence and minefor I think it essential for you to write your best always, at least your level bestmay have curbed the fluency a good deal.

The check and diminution forced on your prose was compensated by the much higher and maturer quality to which it attained afterwards. It would be so, I suppose, with the poetry; a new level of consciousness once attained, there might well be a new fluency. So there is not much justification for the fear.

6 October 1936
***
14 Dec 1936

You seem to suffer from a mania of self-depreciatory criticism. Many artists and poets have that; as soon as they look at their work they find it awfully poor and bad. (I had that myself often varied with the opposite feeling, Arjava also has it); but to have it while writing is its most excruciating degree of intensity. Better get rid of it if you want to write freely.

14 December 1936
***



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  object:1.1.1.08 - Self-criticism
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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